Two Central Michigan University medical students won’t be paying a dime for their college expenses.
Of the 56 students awarded the scholarship this year, Barbara Buehler and Paige Piper each received a four-year full-ride scholarship to CMU’s College of Medicine.
Close to 2,000 students applied to the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program, which is aimed toward students pursing primary health care professions and desiring to work in underserved communities.
The scholarship covers tuition and other fees and expenses for students for four years.
Students who receive this scholarship agree to provide service in an underserved area for every year they receive the scholarship. The application process involves submitting essays, references – both academic and non-academic, and a resume.
Piper, a native of Midland, studied biochemistry at the College of Wooster as an undergraduate in Ohio. Buehler, a Delton native, studied biomedical sciences as an undergraduate at Western Michigan University.
Piper said she considered Michigan State University’s medical school but ultimately chose CMU for its collaboration, diversity and interactive learning.
“CMU appealed to me more because it was smaller and more intimate,” she said.
Buehler cited compassion, patient care and teamwork as reasons for choosing CMU’s medical school over anywhere else.
“I didn’t feel MSU was centered on its students, and I liked CMU’s focus on rural medicine,” she said.
Piper said she would like to serve low-income communities after graduation, while Buehler said she would like to work in a rural area.
Neither Buehler nor Piper are finalized on what area of medicine they would like to study.
Piper said she might study internal medicine, family practice medicine or obstetrics and gynaecology. Buehler said she is interested in family practice medicine.
Janet Miller-Monfils, assistant professor in the foundational sciences and at CMED, said she was proud of Piper.
“I think that her being awarded this prestigious award is a true testament to her persona,” she said. “I will be proud to see Paige go out and represent CMED after her graduation as she carries out the stipulations of her award. She will represent us with pride and prove to everyone that she was the perfect choice for not only CMED but for this award.”
Michael Conway, a faculty member at CMED, highlighted Buehler’s expertise.
“Acceptance in the National Health Service Corps highlights Barbara’s commitment to CMED’s mission, and her compassion for individuals in need,” he said. “She is a great student, a team player, and will serve her community well.”
Overall, both Buehler and Piper expressed relief at receiving a full-ride scholarship to the medical school.
Both Buehler and Piper said they are excited to serve in underserved communities.
“When you’re interested in practicing medicine in an underserved community, it’s about more than practicing medicine,” Piper said. ”It’s about being a member of the community.”